MLB All-Star Game

Which White Sox player(s) has a shot at making the MLB 2023 All-Star game?

Debating the odds of the White Sox' top candidates to be selected for the MLB All-Star game

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Voting for the July 11 all-star game is upon us. It's that time of year to instigate debates about who will earn a berth in the coveted midseason contest.

As a quick refresher here's how the All-Star voting works: each team gets one player per position and three outfielders. In Phase 1, the two with the most fan votes at each non-outfield position, and the top six outfielders advance to Phase 2. The winners of Phase 2 ballotting become the All-Star game starters.

A combination of players, managers and the Commissioner's office select the reserves.

For the White Sox, considering the overall grim performance so far this season, they will likely send one player (per MLB All-Star rules) to Seattle for the game. Who could that player be? Could a pitcher sneak into the ranks?

Here are the feasible options for the White Sox:

Luis Robert Jr.

This is far and away the easiest answer to the question for the Sox.

He leads the White Sox in OPS (.855) and home runs (18). He also has the second-best batting average (.262) and the second-most RBIs (38). At one point, he led the league in defensive runs saved value. Currently, his DFRS is 7, evidence of his phenomenal defensive efforts in center field this season.

Robert Jr. has also been extraordinarily healthy this season. He's already played more games than he did during the first two seasons of his career. He's played 71 of the 74 games the White Sox have played this year.

To satiate the White Sox' need to fill an All-Star gap, Robert Jr. is the guy. While undergoing some inconsistencies at the plate, he's been utterly phenomenal on both ends. His bat is lively with 18 home runs and his defensive work is some of the best in the league.

Jake Burger

Jake Burger is on the All-Star game ballot, and he deserves to be.

Burger has a top-tier slugging percentage (.537) that competes with some of the league's top sluggers; his value is better than Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, Jorge Soler, etc. His 16 homers equal the 13th most in MLB.

Burger runs into a couple of problems with his ballot. He's seen drastically fewer at-bats than the big dogs and he's listed as a designated hitter; that position will assuredly go to Shohei Ohtani.

Burger will need the approval of players, managers and the Commissioner's office to find a way to Seattle. You never know, though, he could sneak his way in.

Relievers?

The only two White Sox players to -- maybe -- receive consideration include Kendall Graveman and Keynan Middleton.

Graveman did not allow a single run in May and he's allowed just two runs in June. He holds a 2.59 ERA through 31 innings pitched this season; he adds 29 strikeouts and 14 walks to his season resume, too.

Middleton came out of nowhere this season, serving as an integral part of the Sox' bullpen. Middleton, like Graveman, did not allow a single run in May; also, like Graveman, Middleton has allowed two runs in June. He has a 1.80 ERA through 25 innings; he also has 32 strikeouts and nine walks.

It's interesting to compare the two to Liam Hendriks in 2022. He was added to the All-Star game late. Hendriks held a 2.35 ERA through 30 innings before the break. Yet, contrary to both Graveman and Middleton, he struck out 45 and walked only eight with a 0.95 WHIP.

Hendriks is also a closer. Set-up men and middle-inning relievers hardly get to the All-Star game. Graveman's six saves this season as part of a closer-by-committee unit might give him some juice, however.

The 72-hour window for Phase 2 voting begins June 26. On Sunday, July 2, the full All-Star rosters will be revealed.

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